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an example of parallel structure

College Prep Writing

Self-Assessment

Assessment Two

The sentences below will help you practice identifying sentences that need to be improved for correctness and clarity. If an underlined sentence or part of a sentence is correct and clear the way it is, choose (A), which is the same as the model sentence. If an underlined sentence or part of a sentence is incorrect or unclear, choose the option that is the best alternative.


Examples:

Losing one's way can be a good learning experience if one is observant, and you don't panic.

(A) Losing one's way can be a good learning experience if one is observant,. . .

(B) Loosing one's way can be a good learning experience if you are observant,. . .

(C) Loosing one's way can be a good learning experience if he or she is
observant,. . .

(D) Loosing you're way can be a good learning experience if you are observant,. . .

(E) Loosing your way can be a good learning experience if you are observant,. . .


Answer: E

Explanation: Only (E) has the possessive and subject pronouns that make the three clauses parallel in structure. Notice how one's is inconsistent with the use of you in the final clauses of choices (A), (B), and (C). In choice (D), the correct pronoun should be your instead of you’re.


Another example.

The interesting thing, which I didn't know until today, is that Mr. Harper is a high-school dropout.

(A) which I didn't know until today

(B) whom I didn't know until today

(C) that I didn't know until today

(D) I didn't know until today

(E) who I didn't know until today


Answer: A

Explanation: The correct relative pronoun in the nonrestrictive clause is which. Which is used in nonrestrictive (nonessential) clauses to refer to things. The other choices are incorrect in these ways—

Choice (B) is wrong because whom is an object pronoun that refers to persons, but the antecedent of the relative pronoun is thing.

The problem with choice (C) is that the relative pronoun that is not used in nonrestrictive clauses. The correct pronoun is which.

The relative pronoun which (object of know) is missing in (D). The nonrestrictive clause must have a relative pronoun that refers to the antecedent thing.

Choice (E) is wrong because the antecedent of the relative pronoun who is thing, and who is used to refer to persons.


Now try these:

1. Luck comes to those who works hard.

Luck comes to those who works hard.
Luck comes to those whom work hard.
Luck comes to those which work hard.
Luck comes to those what work had.
Luck comes to those who work hard.

 

2. He asked me have you ever seen Lorraine.

have you ever seen Lorraine.
if I did ever see Lorraine.
if I had ever seen Lorraine.
did I see Lorraine.
if "you have ever seen Lorraine."

 

3. If I would have saved my money, I could have bought you a more expensive ring.

If I would have saved my money,
If I would save my money,
If I had saved my money,
If I saved my money,
If I save my money,

 

4. Fastening my seatbelt, the plane suddenly lurched forward.

Fastening my seatbelt, the plane suddenly lurched forward.
Fastening my seatbelt, then the plane suddenly lurched forward.
While fastening my seatbelt, the plane suddenly lurched forward.
As I was fastening my seatbelt, the plane suddenly lurched forward.
As I fastened my seatbelt; the plane suddenly lurched forward.

 

5. Some of us left early as a result, we missed the best part of the movie.

Some of us left early as a result, we missed the best part of the movie.
Some of us left early; as a result, we missed the best part of the movie.
Some of us left early, as a result, we missed the best part of the movie.
Some of us left early we missed the best part of the movie.
Some of us left early, so, we missed the best part of the movie.

 

6. It was I myself who called the police.

It was I myself who called the police.
It was me myself who called the police.
It was myself who called the police.
It was me who called the police by myself.
Myself called the police.

 

7. Slamming his foot down on the accelerator, John's car beat the train to the crossing.

Slamming his foot down on the accelerator, John's car beat the train to the        crossing.
Slamming his foot down on the accelerator, John beat the train to the crossing.
John beat the train to the crossing, slamming his foot down on the accelerator.
John's car beat the train to the crossing, slamming his foot down on the
       accelerator.
Beating the train to the crossing, he slammed his foot down on the accelerator.

 

8. I liked the movie although I thought it was a bit too long.

I liked the movie although I thought it was a bit too long.
Although I liked the movie, but I thought it was a bit too long.
Although I liked the movie; however, I thought it was a bit too long.
I liked the movie, I thought it was a bit too long, however.
I liked the movie; although, I thought it was a bit too long.

 

9. Because of the stress involved in teaching, many teachers leave the profession after only a few years.

Because of the stress involved in teaching,
The stress of teaching is great,
Since teachers are stressful,
Teaching is stressful because
Although teaching is stressful,

 

10. Both Kay and Ken like to watch tennis on TV, but both of them don't like to,
       play it.

Both Kay and Ken like to watch tennis on TV, but both of them don't like to        play it.
Both Kay and Ken like to watch tennis on TV, but both don't like to play it.
Both Kay and Ken likes to watch tennis on TV, but either doesn't like to
       play it.
Both Kay and Ken likes to watch tennis on TV, but neither like to play it.
Both Kay and Ken like to watch tennis on TV, but neither likes to play it.

 

11. I lent the money to my friend that I found on the sidewalk.

I lent the money to my friend that I found on the sidewalk.
I lent the money to my friend which I found on the sidewalk.
I lent the money that I found on the sidewalk to my friend.
I lent the money which I found on the sidewalk to my friend.
I lent the money to my friend whom I found on the sidewalk.

 

12. She says she prefers to take chemistry in the afternoon from Mrs. Hatano, who is I prefer too.

who is I prefer too.
who is who I prefer too.
that is whom I prefer too.
which is what I prefer too.
whom is what I prefer too.

 

13. Since 1960 to 1980, ideas about preschool education changed significantly.

Since 1960 to 1980, ideas about preschool education changed significantly.
Between 1960 and 1980, ideas about preschool education changed        significantly.
From 1960 and 1980, ideas about preschool education changed significantly.
In 1960 to 1980, we saw many changes in ideas about preschool education.
During 1960 to 1980, there were many changes in ideas about preschool        education.

 

14. The tourists were disappointed to find Miami not warm nor sunny.

not warm nor sunny
neither warm or sunny
warm nor sunny
neither warm nor sunny
  not warm and sunny neither

 

15. Willie excelled in soccer, that is why the neighbor boys admire him.

that is why the neighbor boys admire him.
which is why the neighbor boys admired him.
for that the neighbor boys admired him.
that is what the boys admired.
who the neighbor boys admired.